2 NM bars fined for over-serving patrons involved in fatal crashes

Posted at: 12/18/2013 9:01 AM
Updated at: 12/18/2013 9:03 AM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

Two New Mexico bars paid thousands of dollars in fines for over-serving patrons who caused fatal drunk driving crashes.

Blue Corn Cafe and Brewery in Santa Fe was fined $10,000 and lost its liquor license for 15 days after pleading no contest to over-serving James Ruiz, who killed two teenage sisters in a crash.

Ruiz is serving a 40 year sentence at Western New Mexico Correctional Facility in Grants.

El Alto Bar and Station in Las Vegas paid a $2,500 fine and ceased serving alcohol for eight days for over-serving a customer who killed himself and an 18-year-old girl in a 2010 crash.

"These establishments violated the terms of their liquor licenses," said Jennifer Anderson, director of the New Mexico Alcohol and Gaming Division. "A suspension of a liquor license is a significant consequence for a business, and these administrative penalties send a strong message that putting New Mexicans at risk by contributing to drunk driving will not be tolerated in New Mexico."